The future of work in Japan: Accelerating automation after COVID-19

Digitization has played a key role in reducing the spread of the virus and promoting a safe recovery. Now, it’s even more critical to the country’s longer-term economic health.

Japanese leaders have long promoted productivity improvements to drive economic growth. That has become an even greater priority as the country’s low birth rates and rising life expectancy have reduced the domestic workforce (those aged 15 to 64 years) to 59.7 percent of the total population. Even with efforts to hire more women, retirees, and foreign workers to boost the labor pool, Japan’s demographic shift threatens to stall GDP growth for the next decade. The key to sustained economic growth is not just finding workers but also transforming how they work through automation.

That task has become a more urgent priority as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced an unprecedented drop in economic activity. The pandemic is also accelerating a shift toward digitization to reduce the spread of the virus while enabling more people and processes to move online. That movement could prove to be a catalyst for Japanese employers to automate their operations and retrain workers to deliver more value. The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) estimates that Japan will need a 2.5-fold increase in productivity growth over the next decade simply to maintain its recent GDP growth rate.

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Πηγή: mckinsey

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